Iams vs Science Diet

I posted this on our Facebook fanpage to see what dog parents think is a healthy dog food formula.

I will do an evaluation of both formulas and post it here when the voting is over… please go to our fanpage and vote now.

Vote for Healthy dog foods

Iams vs Science Diet Outcome

Those that voted neither were correct.  Even though both of these foods can be found on the shelves of most Vets, neither formula is healthy for your dog.  I have posted a complete review for each formula below.

Iams Veterinary Formula Weight Loss Restricted Calorie Dry Dog Food


Ingredient List

Corn Grits, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Fish Meal (source of Fish Oil), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of vitamin E, and Citric Acid), Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fish Oil (preserved wih ethoxyquin), Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Flax Meal, Chromium Tripicolinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxyquin (a preservative), Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Manganous Oxide, Beta-Carotene, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Rosemary Extract, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Cobalt Carbonate

Author’s Review

The main content of this food is grain. Corn is a difficult to digest grain of limited value and that is commonly associated with food allergy problems. In “grits” form it is missing the bran and germ, and is a grain fragment we consider primarily filler. Sorghum and barley are decent quality grains, but grains are not a natural foodstuff for canines and dog foods should be based on meat rather than on grain.

The second ingredient is Chicken by-products. It is impossible to know the quality of by-products and these are usually products that are of such low quality as to be rejected for use in the human food chain, or else are those parts that have so little value that they cannot be used elsewhere in either the human or pet food industries. The AAFCO definition of Chicken by-product meal is “a meal consisting of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.

The sole true meat ingredient in the food is fish meal, but we are unable to locate any guarantee by the manufacturer that this ingredient is free of ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is a chemical preservative commonly added to fish ingredients destined for pet foods and which is banned from use in human foods because it is believed to be carcinogenic.

Beet pulp is controversial filler. It is a by-product, being dried residue from sugar beets which has been cleaned and extracted in the process of manufacturing sugar. It is a controversial ingredient in dog food, claimed by some manufacturers to be a good source of fiber, and derided by others as an ingredient added to slow down the transition of rancid animal fats and causing stress to kidney and liver in the process. We note that beet pulp is an ingredient that commonly causes problems for dogs, including allergies and ear infections, and prefer not to see it used in dog food. There are less controversial products around if additional fiber is required. We would prefer to see the use of whole eggs rather than egg product in the food.

This product used the chemical preservative ethoxyquin. As explained above, Ethoxyquin is a chemical preservative commonly added to fish ingredients destined for pet foods and which is banned from use in human foods because it is believed to be carcinogenic.

Hill’s Science Diet Mature Adult Active Longevity Dry Dog Food

Ingredient List

Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Soybean Mill Run, Flaxseed, Chicken Liver Flavor, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Lysine, Iodized Salt, L-Tryptophan, Dicalcium Phosphate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Taurine, L-Arginine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Chondroitin Sulfate, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

Author’s Review

The primary ingredient is Corn, a low quality ingredient. Corn is a problematic grain that is difficult for dogs to digest and thought to be the cause of a great many allergy and yeast infection problems. We prefer not to see this used in dog food.

When looking at a dog food ingredient list, to determine the primary ingredients you look for all ingredients listed before the first listed fat ingredient.  In the case of Iams that was listed as “Chicken Fat” in this case it is listed as “Animal fat”… we have NO way of knowing what has been used in this formula for fat content, it could be anything and that is NOT good.  You want a named meat as a listed fat ingredient if meat is was is being used for the fat ingredient.

Have you noticed that these two major brands use Chicken By-Product Meal? What do they have against real chicken and chicken meal? I’ll bet it’s the fact that those ingredients cost more and therefore reduce their profit margin.

The bottom line is if you see a meat by-product listed you can be assured that the company that made that product considers profits more important than your dog’s health.

They will spend millions on advertising and direct sales to vets, but won’t replace their meat by-product with real meat… does this make sense to anyone?

I hope by reading the evaluations above that you start to see what to look for in a dog food formula.  The next comparison we will do will be between a good and bad formula so that you can better see the differences.

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